Today, in the wee hours of the morning, American shoppers queued up outside their favorite stores, waiting anxiously to get the holiday season’s best deals. As Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season in the USA, and is one of the most highly-trafficked days of the year for U.S. malls….I also found myself at the mall this Friday…though this mall was in the Philippines.
At Robinsons Mall in Bacolod City, today was the opening day of the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation’s (NWTF) temporary store. The store is one of the many initiatives of NWTF’s Client Services department, which seeks to serve the needs of its clients beyond microfinance. For five days this coming week, the organization has rented a space in the mall to display and sell the products of its clients, as well as its eco-friendly products. The store is well-stocked with products including woven bags, brooms, tumeric, peanuts, pomello fruit, local delicacies, eco-friendly stoves, and solar lamps.
Since opening its first temporary store last year, in conjunction with the celebration of its 25th birthday, NWTF has held several more pop-up stores, bringing the products of at least 30 clients to an expanded public. Next month, NWTF plans to open another pop-up store selling its clients’ organic products, ahead of the Christmas season. While the stores raise awareness for NWTF, most importantly, they allow NWTF clients to reach new markets with their products, and earn a significant profit — helping them improve their businesses, and improve their lives.
Joanne Gan is currently serving as a Kiva Fellow at the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation in Bacolod City, Philippines. She is excited to be in the Philippines during the holidays, as it boasts the world’s longest Christmas season. If you need ideas for holiday shopping this year, consider giving a Kiva gift card.